WASHINGTON, Nov. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Last night, the Senate passed landmark legislation on a unified vision for the growth of the commercial space industry. Title IV of the "U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (CSLCA, or H.R. 2262 as amended)", provides the first ever codification of rights under United States law for the extraction and utilization of space resources obtained from a celestial body.
Moon Express, Bigelow Aerospace, and many other companies are applauding the Senate for supporting the creation of a stable and predictable environment for private sector development while encouraging investments into the bold new field of outer space resource exploration and utilization. This legislation protects and supports U.S. interests as private sector companies expand the economic sphere of Earth to the Moon and beyond.
The Senate bill, the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (S. 1297) passed in August. The House bill, Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship (SPACE) Act (H.R. 2262), passed in May. A conferenced, bipartisan bill was passed by the Senate last night, recognizing and promoting the right of United States companies to engage in exploration for and the extraction and ownership of space resources free from harmful interference, including water and minerals from the Moon and other celestial bodies.
"Moon Express is grateful to the Senate, and its visionary champions of the bill, Senators John Thune (R-SD), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Bill Nelson (D-FL)," said Moon Express co-founder and CEO, Bob Richards. "We also want to especially thank Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Patty Murray (D-WA) for their support of Title IV, helping ensure that the emerging commercial space resources industry has the backing of the United States in its pursuit of energy and materials from the Moon and other bodies that could benefit the U.S. and the world."
"This bill confirms the common sense principle that companies can enjoy the fruits of their labor in space, while still ensuring that the U.S. meets its obligations under the Outer Space Treaty," said Mike Gold, Director of DC Operations & Business Growth at Bigelow Aerospace who also serves as the Chair of the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee ("COMSTAC"), the Federal Advisory Committee to the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation. "At last month's COMSTAC meeting, George Nield described the Lunar Village concept that has been proposed by the new leader of the European Space Agency. The opportunities for the private sector on the Moon are substantial, and I'm ecstatic to see Congress supporting legislation that will enable lunar development."
"We are thrilled to see such visionary support by the Senate of private sector exploration, extraction and ownership of space resources," said Moon Express co-founder and Executive Chairman, Naveen Jain. "This heralds a new era of economic opportunity for unlocking lunar resources that will benefit the United States and all people of planet Earth."
ABOUT MOON EXPRESS
Moon Express, Inc. (MoonEx) is a privately funded commercial space company blazing a trail to the Moon to unlock its mysteries and resources with robotic spacecraft products & services using exponential technologies. Driven by long-term goals of exploring and developing lunar resources for the benefit of humanity, the company has short-term business on-ramps of providing lunar transportation and data services for government and commercial customers. Moon Express has developed the "MX"-family of flexible, scalable spacecraft/landers capable of reaching the lunar surface from Earth orbit on direct or low-energy trajectories, as well as other serving near Earth markets in space robotics. The company is partnered with NASA in its $30M Lunar CATALYST Program and in 2010 Moon Express was awarded a commercial lunar data purchase contract from NASA worth up to $10M. Moon Express is also a leading contender in the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE competition.
The Moon Express founders, Dr. Robert (Bob) Richards, Naveen Jain, and Dr. Barney Pell, believe in the long term economic potential of the Moon to produce resources essential to humanity's future on Earth and in space.
For more information about Moon Express, visit: www.moonexpress.com.
SOURCE Moon Express, Inc.